If you look at mission and culture statements in most businesses you’ll see that the customer is the number one priority. All businesses want to deliver awesome customer service. All want to deliver that wonderful buying experience that will create raving fans!
Mission statements often look something like this:
Rule 1: The customer is always right!
Rule 2: When the customer is wrong, refer to rule 1.
“The customer is the reason you have a job!”
And yet, few achieve the desired level of service, often never knowing why they fail. They do their best to train their team in customer service, they publish guidelines on how to greet and serve customers, and still they fail to create really happy customers.
Why is it so difficult to get the concept of awesome customer service embedded in an organization?
In his book Building the Happiness Centered Business, Paddi Lund makes the point that people will not provide great service unless they see some benefit to themselves. Some of these perceived benefits are financial, intellectual or the avoidance of punishment. Unfortunately, the service provided for these rewards often comes across as forced and insincere, and customers are savvy enough to notice – and to be unimpressed.
How can the team be motivated to provide really awesome service that is seen as sincere and heart- felt?
Paddi Lund points out that, “the most effective motivator for providing great service is a sincere interest and care for the person you are serving.” But it’s impossible force a team member to really care about customers.
What you can do is create a business framework where caring for customers becomes natural. The best way to make it natural is to ensure that your team is happy at work. If team members feel valued, if they feel empowered, if the atmosphere in the work place is one in which every team member is treated with respect, and feels that their opinion matters, there is a good chance that they will treat customers with genuine care and respect.
By creating a happy environment in the work place, where team members feel respected and valued, there is every chance that the aim of awesome customer service will be achieved.
So here are some key points to take away:
- While it’s important that there are rules on how team members should treat customers, it is even more important that there are rules on how team members are treated by their superiors, by their peers, and by the business.
- It’s important that team members feel secure in their work place, and know that if they do something wrong and deserve to be reprimanded they will not be humiliated.
- It’s important that team members be recognized for good performance, as this will make them strive to perform well at all times.
- It is important that team members know that when they have acted in the proper manner, the business will stand up for them, even against an unhappy customer.
So, who are the most important people in your business? Your team members are! Without awesome team members, you will never deliver awesome customer service.